Honeycomb and Hockey

It's rare that I walk into a flea market and come across something that falls into a set or pc that I'm actively collecting. The card tables at my flea market seem to focus more on the newest products and Tim Hortons cards.

One of the sets from my childhood that I’ve always wanted to complete has been the 1997 Pinnacle Post All-World All-Stars. I had an early addiction to sugary breakfast cereals as evident by the amount of these cards I owned in my hockey card collection. I actually still have the 'original’ cards from ‘97 and have picked up another few since I began collecting again several years ago.

They’re a tough card to cross paths with in the wild so I was really excited to find 3 additions to the set at the most recent flea market that I attended.

Finishing off this set will be high on my collecting priority list heading into the New Year.


Thank You For Being A Frenemy

It's been a busy week to say the least. Since the beginning of summer, I've been creating and promoting my own brand of trading cards - totally unrelated to hockey, think Garbage Pail Kids meet Newfoundland & Labrador culture and notable people. I've been spending most of my spare time over the past several months focusing on it and just yesterday I had my second public exhibit so things were a little crazy attempting to get everything together for the showing. Maybe I'll throw it up in a blog post in the future.

But for now it's hockey - Back again to present the contents of the second and final mega box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 that I snatched up over the Black Friday madness. I promise that I'll get to something more - thought provoking content after I clear the plate.

Going to kick it off with Connor and follow through with favorite players and photos from the break.

I've really taken a liking to Jamie Benn. He is a strong all-around player - able to score, lead, hit and willing to drop the gloves when he bell rings. I've always had a soft spot for the power forward role and Benn fits the bill.

I wasn't familiar with any of the three Young Guns that this blaster yielded but Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Greenway is the only player currently 'lacing them up' in the show at the moment.

This is the first game used Rangers card of Shattenkirk in my collection.

And there we have it folks - two mega boxes of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 from Black Friday past.


Hi-ho, Silver! Away!

The annual Upper Deck flagship was released earlier this month and I gotta say, the set is pretty easy on the eyes! I've been hankering over busting something 'retro' lately but I couldn't resist swiping a couple of mega boxes containing the new stuff while it was on sale over Black Friday.

I'm actually beginning to think that somebody over at Upper Deck has been listening! Those dreadful cards featuring players kicking a soccer ball in the back of the arena seem to have vanished from this years product.

A really nice base design this year as well, I'm super impressed with the vibe of these cards. In my opinion, I would go as far as saying that this is one of the nicest looking Upper Deck flagship sets to come out in recent history!

I'm going to run down through the base by showcasing some my favorite players.

A nice card featuring a cool shot of Madison Square Garden won't go astray in my collection. How about two!?

My brother has got me really into following the Islanders lately. The trio of Young Guns that I pulled from the blaster box have all yet to prove themselves in the NHL - Michael Dal Colle being the name that I'm most familiar with.

 The Upper Deck Canvas continues to rock. Here's Subban donning a cowboy hat that reads "Smashville" during warmups before their Hockey Fights Cancer game against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena.

The Hockey Fights Cancer hats were distributed to fans who helped to "Smash Cancer" by giving a $5 donation.

"Shining Stars" are now "Shooting Stars" but this isn't just any Shooting Star insert, it's Crosby and it's a black parallel which undoubtedly makes for the raddest card from the blaster. According to the odds marked on the back of the box; these Black Parallels fall 1:192 packs!

I also pulled two Upper Deck Portraits but I'm not even going to waste our time and scan those. They are extremely disappointing this season - I mean, it's an insert set that we could have done without two years ago but this year it's like they never even tried to make it worthy to collect. I'm really just not into it.

I still have another one of these 'mega boxes' to go through so I figure I will be able to put most of the 200 card base set together.


Seeing Red

Now that’s a nice hockey card. Patrick Roy holding both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smyth back in 1986. I was nearly two years old at the time.

Then just a few years later, the Canadiens would win yet again in ‘93. To put it this way, the Montreal Canadiens were already a popular team by 1993 but I remember the fandom was heavily prevalent during my childhood. So were the Blue Jays! And the Talkboy!

My Grandfather was a big Habs fan, growing up I remember he was really into them; like he was a Hockey Night In Canada at night Sports Desk in the morning  - Big fan. And because of that, my 17 aunts and uncles were raised as Canadiens fans and so on.

I remember him really liking this 1997 Donruss Studio Saku Koivu card that I owned. My sister had bought me a pack of Studio at a pharmacy earlier that evening and I ended up pulling the Koivu 8x10. I wanted to show him because I knew he would like it. As I had hoped, he did and so I gave it to him. That’s my only hockey card memory I have involving my Pop.

You know, the Koivu Studio is a card with a personal memory attached to it. One of the many cards that holds that effect for me. Every time I look at that card I’m instantly taken back to my grandparents house with a pack of 1997 Donruss Studio that my sister bought for me earlier that day at a drug store.

And that’s one of the things that I love about cards. That they have all these specific memories and stories to tell; it’s kind of like those songs that you hear and they take you back to a moment in your life like a bookmark. How simple yet so appreciative, that ability a Saku Koivu Donruss Studio can have.

The above eight Montreal Canadiens Memorable Moments cards were a promotional set released through Upper Deck at the 2017 L’Anti Expo which took place in Montreal. The design is a continuation of the 'Memorable Moments' short prints found in the popular 2008-09 Upper Deck Montreal Canadiens Centennial set.

In order to have received the full set of cards that look back at the best moments that took place between 2008-09 and 2016-17, collectors attending L’Anti Expo would have to break 10 sealed packs that were purchased from a Certified Diamond Dealer on the floor.

I'm missing just one card from the release, #MC-0 Jonathan Drouin. It's considered a 'special card' and getting one was a bit of a challenge since they were randomly inserted into packs.

Any cards in your collection have that sort of effect on you as the Koivu Donruss?


Oil Change

This card arrived in the mail earlier this week - It's the Upper Deck 20th Anniversary parallel of the Young Guns checklist card from 2010-11. It has been up there on my want list for some time now but I just never liked the going price for it. But with a little patience, I was able to score it for less than half the running listing price. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

Hall and Eberle were expected to be two major components in the rebuilding of the Edmonton Oilers. A rebuild that didn't go exactly as planned and thus it was 1st overall pick after another. The Oilers loaded their team with THE best young player from across the world entering into the NHL for three years in a row. Despite how talented the team looked on paper, they just couldn't execute while on the ice.

Over the six seasons in which Hall and Eberle played together, the Oilers missed the post-season in all six of those years - finishing 30th, 29th, 24th, 28th, 28th and 29th in the 30-team NHL. They became the joke of the NHL.

Although they lost a ton of games over those years, I'll wholeheartedly admit that I really enjoyed following the Oilers over their disastrous run - the team played fast, they were youthful and the media hype, I’m sure came into play as well.

Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov heck even Magnus Paajarvi; there was a lot of young blood flowing through the veins of the Edmonton Oilers.

Much of the teams lack of success was shifted onto the shoulders of Taylor Hall albeit it was out of his control. A poorly constructed roster and constant organizational changes (I think they had 4-5 coaches over six seasons) undoubtedly played a big part in leading the franchise into consistent losing territory.

Hall was traded to New Jersey two years ago and enjoyed the best year of his NHL career just this past season; doing what he was expected to do in Edmonton, carrying the New Jersey Devils on his back and into the post season sunset. He has also been nominated for the Hart Trophy. They do say the best revenge is living well.

Eberle was moved to the New York Islanders last year in exchange for Ryan Strome and has remained offensively consistent. The trade free'd up cap space for the Oilers, who had big-money signings coming up with Draisaitl and McDavid entering their final year of their entry-level contract.


Threads From Friends

Last night I was pulling some cardboard to scan and I came across a few cards from Brian who writes for Just A Bit Offside that I never got around to posting. Even worse, I still hadn’t sent out my end of the cards - this exchange happened months ago! You’re cards will be in the mail within the next day or so.

Brian sent a very generous fabric friendly package featuring a duo of my all-time favourite players.

Kariya and Tkachuk actually played parts of 3 seasons together with the Blues from 2007-10.

Tkachuk's stay in Atlanta is often forgettable, suiting up for just 22 games with the Trashers before being traded back to the St. Louis Blues.

Here's a fantastic looking manufactured patch card from 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee Premier commemorating the 4th overall selection from the 1993 NHl Entry Draft, Paul Kariya.

I want to say thanks to Brian for sending these beautiful cards my way. Appreciate the extra thought that went into this blind trade.
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